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TuneIn thinks Internet radio still has a chance against Spotify

Radio was dying well before the rise of music streaming services like Spotify, but their rise has definitely hastened its death, or have they? According to TuneIn, not only is radio not dead, it’s worth paying for. Coming from a company that has been providing tens of thousands of live radio broadcasts through the Internet for more than a decade, the claim that radio isn’t dead or dying seems more like denial than anything, at least at first. However, once you actually look through the content offerings, TuneIn’s new $7.99/month premium service actually looks pretty enticing.

Apple music versus Spotify. Spotify versus Pandora. Rdio versus its own buggy app. Based purely on the headlines and the hype, the music world would seemingly belong to on-demand streamers. That’s news to TuneIn, longtime bundler of over 100,000 free, live, streaming radio station broadcasts. It doesn’t just believe in the power of radio; it’s got a plan to convince you to pay for it. To this point TuneIn has, much like radio itself, been exclusively free. Simply download the app, visit the website, or summon it on your Echo or other connected device, choose a station podcast, and listen. Now, though, the company offers TuneIn Premium alongside that existing free model. For $8 a month, Premium gives users access to 600 commercial-free music stations, over 40,000 audiobooks, and live broadcasts of professional soccer (EPL and Bundesliga) and major league baseball games. It’s a bold move, a direct assault on the subscription dollars that consumers are pouring into streaming services at rapidly increasing rates. But TuneIn thinks it has something to offer that its rivals can’t: a personal touch.

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